Chevelle Strip Party

Disassembling A ’66 Chevelle In Under Three Hours

Scott Crouse Mar 1, 2002 0 Comment(s)

Step By Step

As fast as we could get into position to take a picture, these guys already had half the car in the air.

Once the Chevelle sat firmly on jackstands, the disassembly process took place on all sides.

With the bumpers gone and the fluids drained, the sheetmetal came under attack. Notice how Ed Taylor is holding the right front fender to keep it straight while Don Swanson frees it from the car.

With the front fenders and core support removed, it’s best to attack the doors and rearend because removing the engine could possibly lighten the front of the car, causing it to tip rearward.

While Jeff worked on freeing the transmission, we had our eyes on the 12-bolt.

Valerye Roberts bagged all the small pieces for easy identification.

That’s Don Swanson helping to remove the Richmond six-speed. The O2 sensor in the exhaust is for the air/fuel ratio gauge.

Before dismantling the car’s electrical system, we used the electric fuel pump to pump the fuel out of the tank.

Once Frank finished discon-necting the dash, Kevin offered to help him extract it from the car.

As the crew lifted the body, Kris and Frank quickly removed the jackstands and pulled the frame out from underneath. It’s a good idea to have two dollies in place so they can be slipped under the body as it’s lowered.

Before removing the body bolts, it’s best to lubricate them first. It’s not uncommon for several of them to break due to corrosion.

We jumped the gun and removed the engine before the coil springs. Luckily we had Ed and Jim available to weigh things down.

We’re not sure what kind of creature this is, but he sure knew how to disassemble the underside of our Chevelle.

We left the responsibilities of removing the window molding up to our bodyman Don Swanson. Using a piece of wood to contact the molding reduces the possibility of dents.

There’s nothing like teamwork when it’s time to remove the bumpers.

It’s important to come up with a plan before lifting the body off the frame. Remember that once the body is in the air, the frame needs to be taken off the jackstands and removed. Then the body has to be set down on something mobile if you plan on moving it once your friends have gone home.

Of course, in order to do all this dismantling, you need tools. We relied on the Craftsman 175-psi, oil-less 110-volt compressor to do the job. That giant Craftsman toolbox also came in plenty handy too.

With the Chevelle finished and food on the table, it didn’t take long for this bunch to make the steaks on their plates disappear.

If you have ever wondered what sorts of things magazine editors and their buddies do on the weekends, ponder no more. The dedicated Chevy High Performance staff uses those precious weekends to practice what they preach each month. Whether it’s at a dyno, in an engine-building room, or in the garage, there’s continuous Chevrolet tinkering going on.

One recent Saturday morning, we invaded Editor Jeff Smith’s backyard and uncovered what happens behind the scenes of CHP. When we arrived on location, the streets were lined with classic Chevys of all models and years. It seemed as if the magazine opened up and we drove right in. While unloading the camera equipment, we were greeted by several of Jeff’s friends who where there to help out for the day. Ed Taylor, Chevy High ’s engine-building wonder, was there to lend a hand, along with Bob Mehlhoff, Kris Shields, Kevin Doyle, Don Swanson, Jim Peterson, Valerye Roberts, Mark Stielo, and Automotive Detailer Frank Saenz. We thought to ourselves, what kind of project could possibly require so many people? As we walked past a few Camaros and around a Rat on the floor, there sat a ’66 Chevelle beside an enormous Craftsman toolbox and air compressor. On this particular Saturday, Jeff and his friends were going to have a strip party. The kind of party where a Chevelle loses everything, including its body. During the deconstruction instructions, Jeff mentioned something about steak for lunch. The mention of meat suddenly changed the disassembling crew’s demeanor into something resembling a pack of wild animals waiting to feast on their Chevelle prey.

When the clock struck 9 a.m., the crew went to work. Every nut, bolt, and washer found its way to a designated bag and tag person as the Chevelle came apart in quick order. By 10, the sheetmetal laid in the grass, and by 11, the engine and interior were gone. As the clock struck noon, lunchtime had arrived and the Chevelle sat completely disassembled. Sharing lunch under the sun with some of your best buddies and a million-piece puzzle Chevelle is what hot rodding is all about.

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